Let me set you up. First off, Manchester Orchestra is easily in my top five favorite bands yet I hadn't seen them in concert yet. On Facebook they made the announcement that the tour they were embarking on was going to be it for at least two years.. maybe longer so I knew that come hell or high water I was going to a show. Fortunately, they were going to be in Minneapolis on Saturday but at some bar I didn't know in South Minneapolis (which immediately waves some red flags), but tickets were only about $20. So I get my friend Tammy and sister in law Kate to come.
We basically left later than ideal because people had stuff going on, but assuming we didn't get lost, we would get there about 30 minutes before the doors opened. But guess what happened?
Maggie, the turning out to be unreliable GPS, got us fucking lost. First off, there is a difference in Cedar Avenue and Cedar Avenue South. Mostly because Cedar Avenue will tell you that you have arrived as you are crossing what I think was the Mississippi River. Cedar Avenue South takes you into what I think is maybe a college neighborhood (think bars, apartment buildings, random weird stores that aren't open after 5). So we ended up being 16 miles out of our way, and get there in time to see that the "free parking" consists of four spaces on either side of the building. Awesome. Obviously everything within reasonable distance is full so we end up parking behind a Taco Bell, on a residential street with an embankment ideal for homeless people, a closed bus shelter, and oh yeah- there are no street lights. This is totally a safe parking spot. But we did it because it was a quicker walk to the venue.
Which was questionable too. It is next door to a bar/restaurant called The Joint and that is primarily a biker hangout. Not going to lie, there were some pretty sketch people just hanging out. Thankfully we didn't have to wait outside for too long, but Kate was complimented on her green hair by a drunk guy!
There is no way to flip this tetris setup to make it right" because it's true. I would say about half of us were standing to the side of the stage because there isn't much room in front of the stage. If I had mad Paint skillz I'd draw you a picture but just go with it. So that really sucked. I secured a spot next to the bar, right where the bartenders come in/out with cases. Which means my right arm, back, and ass kept getting slammed with cases of beer. Unfortunate because there literally was nowhere else for me to go- I was kind of stuck in that one spot.
The first band to come on was The Deerhunter, who I had never heard of, but were really good. They sound a LOT like Manchester Orchestra and at first I thought it was them. I know- what was I thinking. But they were good enough that I'm downloading some of their stuff this week because I enjoyed them.
White Denim sucks so much ass I was yawning. YAWNING during a club concert. They blatantly rip off guitar riffs from classic rock hits, kind of make it their own or at least try to, and then mumble stuff into the microphone. They could be described as hipsters who hate life? I have one picture of them but deleted it because they sucked. But holy god- this couple? Went CRAZY for them. The woman was all jamming out to herself and almost ramming into Tammy. It was quite a sight on its own.
So after White Denim, hipster couple leaves. Enter.... middle aged married couple of swingers. Oh, you read that right. Tammy and I met Tom and Karen. (I want it noted that Kate ditched us for a seat on the floor because her foot hurt and she was tired. So Tammy and I are on our own here). They both appear kind of tipsy if not the beginning stages of drunk which is fine. They order some drinks, ask us what we're drinking and we say we aren't because we have a long drive home. So then we start talking about where we're from, etc. Out of nowhere Tom hugs me and says, "If it doesn't work out with your husband I will take you. My wife could use a friend." Um, weird. But I brush this off as a drunk person rambling about shit that makes no sense. I get this all of the time being the sober person in a group.
Manchester Orchestra comes on and starts the show with "April Fool" and I basically lose my shit because I love them and Andy Hull. I don't like beards so much, but I would make an exception for Andy. And Robert Pattinson.
But about a few songs in I look at Tammy who tells me that the woman? Is feeling up her boob. Which is funny because at this point, the guy? Is grinding on my right leg. And I'm laughing hysterically because you know this is what I do in stressful situations only amplified by my exhaustion and low blood sugar. So I kind of move more into the bar area thinking he'd get the hint but no. That does not work.
Almost towards the end of the set, Tom grabs my waist to let me know that him and Karen were leaving. I said "Oh, that's good" and he replies with, "Do you want to come with us? We've got a place nearby and we can have fun." Um, no. NO, you crazy ass swinger-probable-serial-killer. NO. So they leave, Tammy and I breathe a huge sigh of relief so we can enjoy the last few songs.
Here's what I will tell you that was amazing about this concert:
- Even in between sets the bar just plays music. Well you know you have a kick ass crowd when we all start singing along to the Black Keys' "Howlin For You".
- Almost every guy had a beard and wore flannel. Some women appeared to have beards as well.
- The band is immensely talented anyways, but when Andy Hull sang all alone with no back up instruments or vocals? Wow. Talk about a concert moment. Not a sound in that entire bar except for his voice gave me goosebumps.
- I was so happy they made the song "Virgin" sound as creepy in person as it does on the album.
- Same with "Simple Math"- it oozes sex (to me) on the album and it was even better in person.
- The crowd ate up "I Can Barely Breathe" and you can hear that HERE. Someone at the show taped it and put it on YouTube. :)
- We also sang word for word to "The Only One".
And the walk to car? Uneventful. I almost made the decision to pee in someone's front yard because I had to go THAT BAD but I didn't. We ended up finding a gas station outside of the cities and I peed a lot, only after landing on the seat (lost my footing on the wet floor) only to realize the seat? Was wet. Public bathroom fail.
It was a super late night and I crawled into bed at exactly 2:35 am. Yikes.
I get to do it again on Thursday, though! I am going to be meeting my friend Amy for lunch, shopping, and the Airborne Toxic Event concert.. only to drive home. I am going to be so exhausted. Really tired. I just need to keep myself awake for the ride home. Then this weekend is girls weekend/Amy's birthday extravaganza/shopping trip, but Tammy and Emily are coming with me. It's going to be great... just wait for the pictures!